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Japanese Parts Shortage Halts General Motors Production

 

DETROIT - A shortage of parts from Japan will force General Motors Co. to halt production at its pickup plant in Shreveport, La., next week, the company said Thursday.

It's the first time a U.S.-based automaker will stop production in North America over parts shortages caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Toyota Motor Co. and Subaru have already slowed North American production to conserve parts that they normally import from that nation.

GM makes two compact pickups at its Shreveport plant, the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado. Both use a five-speed manual transmission made by Japanese supplier Aisin Seiki Co, which has halted production in Japan and suspended overtime in North America.

GM's other North American plants haven't been affected so far.

GM said it will resume production as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the company has enough of the trucks in inventory that it would take more than two months to sell them all. The trucks could be at the plant, en route to showrooms or on dealer lots.

Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC said their plants haven't been affected by shortages.

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